Many might associate the B-52 with its nuclear role, but today the aircraft and its crews are forward deployed to Royal Air Force Fairford, England, to demonstrate the conventional capabilities the airframe offers. For more than 50 years, the B-52H Stratofortress has served as the backbone of the United States’ strategic bomber force. Capable of carrying up to 70,000 pounds of weapons, and with a typical combat range of more than 8,800 miles without aerial refueling, the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is one of the best built airplanes ever. In a conventional conflict, the B-52 can perform strategic attack, air interdiction, offensive counter-air, close air support and maritime operations.
Built to carry nuclear weapons for Cold War-era deterrence missions, the BUFF (Big Ugly Fat Fu%$&@) Boeing B-52 Stratofortress took its maiden flight in April 1952. Now a veteran of several wars, the B-52 has never had to fulfill its nuclear mission, having dropped only conventional munitions in combat. The B-52 is capable of dropping or launching the widest array of weapons in the U.S. inventory, including gravity bombs, cluster bombs, precision guided missiles and joint direct attack munitions to complete its conventional mission. In this video, the U.S. Air Force B-52 Strategic Aircraft that is considered one of the most powerful in the world demonstrates all its capabilities for the world to see, and to remember that even at almost 64-years-old, it still remains the uncontested heavyweight pound-by-pound king of the jungle.